Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Last year for Valentines Day I got all 3 of the grandkids together for a photo and wanted to continue this tradition every year.  It's not a busy holiday and it's nice to compare how the kids have grown in that year.  Here is last years Valentine's photo.  2011


With or in proximity to another person or people: "they stood together".

Okay if you think this is easy guess again.  We have one very cooperative 8 year old that has some patience for photos when there are bribes involved.

Miss El

I took lots more photos of El that you will see in a later post.  She might not like getting her picture taken but she rocks that camera.

Then Miss El and her pal Mallory

Mallory is 2.5 and is starting to warm up in front of the camera.  She did this little tip of her head and I couldn't get her to stop.  When we told her to sit pretty and smile her head just tipped.  

She also knows treats are involved.

Mr Maxwell is just darn cute but a momma's boy so that is why we are half turned around...... looking for where momma disappeared to.  If she would stand by me he would cry because he could see her and she wasn't holding him.  Maxwell is 9 months already..... {tears}

Now Max's hair not only sticks straight up it's so long that it curls back

Getting Mallory and Max together was challenging.  Mallory didn't want to sit by Max and Max still wanted his mommy.  We only got one and that took a little merge of two photos.

Garrett is 3 and not liking this picture taking stuff anymore.  He likes to play trucks and go outside but all these girls and their girly ideas are too much for him.  Here is Mr G-Man deciding to do it his way.  

And another one of G-Man's ideas.

I actually kinda love them and how they capture what Garrett is all about right now.  You have to remember every stage of their life, they will grow out of it faster than I want them to.  

El and Garrett together

And this year we have 4.....  El sat in the same spot, Mallory sat on top of her, Garrett played trucks (in his hand) diving in every couple seconds and Maxwell decided it was time to play "so big".   

The definition of together {"With or in proximity to another person or people" }  
It does not say anything about all sitting nicely smiling.  My Grandchildren together is just like this photo show you..... children being who they are at the time they are in the life and nothing could be sweeter to me than this photo of all my grandchildren together. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I'm sorry

I'm very, very sorry that yesterday I said I wanted something to jump out at me.  First the deer and now today this.....

Do you know what that is?  

Well let me tell you..... John was putting up a new light in our bedroom today and he calls me at work to say "do you still want me to put up the light if there is a dead animal in it?"

Me - "What???  dead animals, what, where, when, how, why?"
John - "There's a dead animal in the light"
Me - "What is is?"
John - "I think it's a frog"
Me - "I had a frog in my bedroom..... are you kidding me?"
John - "No it's not in the bedroom it's in the NEW light"
Me - "Where was that box, how did he get in there"
John - "I'm thinking he came from China, the box was sealed up tight"
Me - "Okay I'm grossed out and might not want that light in my room"

Well in case you wanted a closer look at our Chinese Frog here he is.

Isn't that just disgusting?  I think his second toe is longer than his big toe...... DISGUSTING!!  And they have a little curl to them :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Winter Friends

We got fresh snow this morning covering the outdoors and reminded us how beautiful winter really is.  After work we drove around the woods (should be walking but my heated seat is so much more comfortable than being cold).  We caught just a quick glimpse of momma deer and her fawn, I didn't have much time to set the camera (in manual mode last set for open field lighting), click and they were gone.  I would have loved to have the branches out from in front of their faces but I guess that just makes it more natural.  Now I'm hooked.... we might be out driving the trails every night.  

Love that they are both looking so straight on and continuing to hide from us.  

2012 for me is all about shooting something I haven't done before or a different perspective from the things I have shot before.  Hence the reason my camera was still set for open fields, everything I seen in the woods I've already done.  Just before we seen the deer John said "nothing worth taking a picture of?"  I said "I've done it all already, I'm waiting for something different to jump out at me".  They may have jump further into the woods instead of in front of me but this was exactly what I was waiting for.

  Thinking this way will help me to expand my creativity and continuing to learn from my mistakes.  You rarely make mistakes if you do the same thing over and over again......   Believe me I can make plenty of mistakes so it could be an interesting year, we'll see if I conquer the challenge or my camera goes flying across the room some day.  

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunset from the east

When the sun sets you shouldn't always look in that direction..... turn around and look to the east, the colors are amazing.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cold Winter Weekends

We've had a cold snap and this year we are not used to that.  When possible it's time to hibernate until we can move those temperatures to the positive numbers. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Kids in the Snow

Just a couple of the kids playing in the snow.  Then I played with a few textures giving them a dreamy dirty look. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Grandma Hemmers Look a-likes..... or not

I took Shannon's picture to compare to Grandma Hemmer's from this post  {click here}  

So what do you think?

That was so much fun we decided to take Lynn's picture the same way even though she is all Emmerich and then Elly got in there and so did Mallory.  Here are my 4 girls and Grandma.  They all have the same beautiful eyes, same eyebrows and all have the same thin lips except for Mally.  Shannon and Mally have the same face shape and Lynn and Elly have the same face shape.  I think they all make pretty cute little Russian girls, can't you just see them strolling through the streets in their long black coats.  

Here are some more fun shots to share.  And for a bit of a techie comment they were all taken with natural light.  I placed them directly left of the patio door with another window to their left.  This lit up the right side of their face with a soft light from the left.  I placed a reflector at their waist directing more light to bounce up onto the front of their face.  The reflector also creates great catchlights in the bottom of their eyes and the window to the left also created small catchlights which helps them sparkle.  

Here's my Shannon

My Lynn

My Elly Girl

And Miss Mallory

I had to share another Miss Mallory just because it is soooooo cute.  We didn't think she would do this for us but she put on the big coat and really played along.  She moved as I was taking it so it's blurring but I don't care, it's her.  She has the cutest little lips ever and here she is pouting to be done.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Bunny Hunters

Last weekend Elly and Garrett spent the night and spent hours on Sunday outside hunting a bunny.  They seen a glimpse of him back by the garden shed and were hot on his trail.  They tracked him everywhere, they crawled under things, moved stuff, and even walked through the neighbors fields.  They came in the house and begged me to come out and move the wood pile since he was under there.  Well I didn't and they had to go home without catching the bunny.

Today Mr Bunny was out again

and the hunters came back, but again had to go home without catching a bunny.  They want that bunny really bad.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

More Sunsets before the storm

 We are expecting a winter storm for the next two days so I thought I'd share two of the sunset photos from the other night.  Kinda like the calm before the storm.  Where we live there is like this amazing hill, it's not like a normal hill but just a slow gradual incline that you would never know is there unless you know to look for it.  One day we walked to the top of the incline in the neighbors field to see how different it looks from the top vs what we see at the bottom.  It's so cool up there, someday I need to live at the top which is only like a stone's throw away :)  

Another incredible view is watching the sunset from one point and then driving about a quarter mile and watching it again.  Someday I'll walk to the top again and take my camera.  There's a cool rock pile up there too..... that's another reason I need to live there.

I haven't shared any techy camera stuff lately and I know there are a few fans out there and if you don't like it just look at the photos, I'm okay with that too.  

Here is an example of what your manual settings can capture for you.

The two photos were taken right after one another, with the second in-between to change shutter speed.

ISO 800 - getting pretty dark out and high f/stop so I needed light
f/32 - wanting the image to be sharp from front to back and also wanting the rays visible from the sun
Shutter speed - 1/200 letting in more light
This is the correct exposure and was what the sky looked like at the time.

Just for fun let's make this look all dramatic
ISO 800 - same as above
f/32 - same
Shutter speed - 1/4000 letting in less light

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Beautiful January Weather

We have been having some amazing warm weather this winter.  Today it was in the 40's and the sun was so bright and warm.   I'm sure it's going to change but for right now I'll soak it all up.  I do love the snow so it's a bit of a love/hate relationship that I have with the bare ugly ground.  If I want warm temps I'm gonna see ugliness for a while.  So the challenge is to find something pretty enough to photograph during this January thaw.  

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sunset again

The sunsets have been so pretty lately I just can't resist.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

New York Photo 1944

Let's go back about a month ago..... we went to visit John's parents and Grandma couldn't find her reindeer that I made for her 20 some years ago.  She loved those reindeer and had them on her table every Christmas since.  Well this year they are gone.... now they have moved about 5 times and they always came with them but for some reason she can't find them.  So John and her ripped the apartment apart trying to find them.  They aren't small and their apartment is so they should be that hard to find.  Well during one of the closet purging's I found this packet of old pictures and started to look through it.  Grandma said if I find anything I want just tell her..... well I found this photo of her from 1944 when she visited New York and loved it.  I love the rusted metal frame, I love the old look of the photo, I love the composition of the photo being in the lower left corner and what I love most is how our Shannon looks so much like Grandma.  I see Shannon all over this photo.  So now this photo is mine and I have it displayed in the house.  We didn't find her reindeer but I found a treasure.

So yesterday I was determined to have Grandma duplicate this photo with me.  Grandma can't remember much about it but she thinks it was a booth that you paid like 10 cents for the one photo and it was in New York when she visited in 1944 when she was about 20 years old.... that about it.    We googled the information from the back and this was a booth that was famous for taking photos for the girls to send over to the sweethearts that were serving in WWII.  

So here is our quick rendition of the 1944 photo in 2012.  (67 years later)

Here they are side by side, for your comparisons.  Now my next mission is to get Shannon into the same pose and maybe even Shawna.  If anyone could be John's little sister, especially with a hat on..... it would be Shawna.  :)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Grandpa and Grandma Hemmer

John's mom and dad are tipping the 80's on the high side and unfortunately every bug they get it's harder and harder to bounce back.  Grandpa has had a rough couple of weeks and spent some time in the hospital.  He got released this weekend and his sisters were here for a visit from Iowa.  The two in the back are John's cousins and they brought the two ladies in front here from Iowa to visit their brother.  They are saints...... let me say it again..... Those two in the back are saints and have a ticket straight to heaven.  Making the trip from Iowa on such a short notice for themselves to visit their uncle is a wonderful thing to do, but then to offer to bring their aunts with is purely sainthood.

We went over to snap a few pictures and to spend time with them.  Now let me tell you they all wanted this picture taken but when it came right down to it there wasn't enough room in the apartment to fit them all in comfortable so someone had to tell them they had to walk down to the community room..... Well David was the one to break the news.  They didn't complain too much for the walk but when I snapped one picture they said "okay we're done"  Ummmmmm did someone forget to tell them I don't take one picture?  I did force myself to only take about 20.  I kept telling Grandpa to smile..... he says he was but that's not a smile.  Grandma looks so cute sitting over there on the right.  She's had a bit of a vacation while Grandpa was in the hospital.... shhhhh don't tell Grandpa.

Those hands are years of family blood.  

We went out to the hunting shack after this and I taught them a new dice game, it was quite the process but they had fun and even wanted to play again.  Grandma went for a Jeep ride around the woods with John.  Ed and I had to practically lift her into the seat with the help of a step ladder and then Ed and I closed the door, waved good-bye and told John - Good luck we might not get her out of there!!  Grandpa went around the woods with Ken in his truck, they loved that ride, it's been about 3 years since they've seen their trails and the back side of the woods.  Lots of memories for them in that 80.

Just in case you're wondering..... we did get Grandma out of the Jeep :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Sunset Bokeh

I haven't taken a picture of the sunset for awhile so tonight it was more than amazing so I popped out onto the deck and got the same pictures I have taken a gazzillion times before.  Wanting to get a photo that I haven't done before just wasn't happening.... I've got them all.  Why is it that sunsets can be so amazing but when taking photos of them they all look the same.  I was about to be happy with what I got but then I decided I wasn't going in until I had something different and something that I liked.  Since I love a challenge that is all I needed..... I put my lens into manual focus, started to look through it with my own focus and that's all it took.....sunset bokeh.  

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Crazy Haunted House

This fall I didn't get a chance to clean above my kitchen cabinets and it's been driving me crazy.  I just haven't had the time to do that type of cleaning but when I look up there I know it needs to be done soon.  So on Christmas I was having a conversation with a couple sister-in-laws and the subject came up.  I'm not sure why but I said out loud that mine were in desperate need of cleaning.  My one sister-in-law gave me a good tip and I'm not sure why I didn't think of this but I am for sure going to do it.  She puts newspaper above the cabinets so she can just pull them down and there is less scrubbing of that greasy sticky dirty crap that happens above the stove.  

fast forward a few days...... John and I are watching TV and I'm working away on the computer and "crash" happens in the kitchen.  We both go out to investigate and thinking it was going to be a Christmas ornament that I had taped above the sink it wasn't.  It was the cover from my Fiesta-wear creamer.  All my Fiesta-wear is above the cupboards because they are so pretty (well not right now since they need to be washed).  How in the world did that cover pop off that creamer and fall over the side of the cupboard with no one in the room?  It didn't break so I picked it up and the next night washed it up but didn't put it back up since I needed to wash the others soon.

fast forward to last night...... John and I went to bed and have to walk by the cabinets to get to the bathroom so we know everything was fine when we went to bed.  Adam came home later and set his lunchbox on the counter in the same spot that he does every night.  Nothing was different then either.  So I get up this morning (not a gym morning, thank goodness) and there is a note on the counter.
"Connie something spilled all over the counter and floor, I think it's the Olive Oil..... I think"  then Adam got up and "it's all over my lunchbox".  So okay those boys looked over the mess just enough to tell me about it but sure enough it's still all there.  

So the Cleaner and CSI that I am I clean up the mess on the counter, put Adam's lunchbox in the sink and start to clean up the floor.  Thinking..... this isn't greasy it can't be olive oil and why would the olive oil leak from a glass bottle.  So as I'm wiping it up I notice it dripping from above..... just like blood dripping on CSI (that's what went through my head.... I know I watch too many CSI shows).  So I look up and it's dripping off the counter yet but nothing is up there.... so what should a CSI do now?  Smell it.....Taste it!!!  Yep so I smelled and tasted whatever was dripping from my cupboards to the counter onto the floor and running to the basement steps.  It didn't smell or taste like anything I was still stumped.  But boy was it sticky.

Okay I need to take a shower and get to work so since it's kinda cleaned up I'll finish when I get home.  

Nope I can't leave it so I start more investigation because whatever is happening is coming from above and I'm not sure it's done.  On the bottom shelf was baking supplies like chocolate chips, marshmallows, nuts..... nothing leaking there.  On the second shelf is the flour, sugars, oatmeal, jello.... those are all dry items so I didn't touch them.   Then for some reason I look up and see a dark spot that I can hardly reach but I stretch to put my finger on it and it's wet.  So I get me a chair and peer over the top shelf to find a puddle but what is it coming from because there is nothing but tin cans of pie filling, juices, cake mixes.  Well the can of Grapefruit juice blew out both sides of the can and punctured a tiny hole in the bottom.  I'm not sure how this happened or why it happened but whomever threw my sugar lid over the side of the cupboard must have thought I would make the time to clean up there but when I ignore it even longer they went to drastic measures to make me clean.   So cleaning tonight is what we did but not only the top of the cupboard but inside, wall, floors, all those dry ingredient boxes and bags were covered with wetness...... everything.  That stuff was sticky and all over.  

This pic has nothing to do with it but it's pretty and what we did tonight wasn't pretty.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

FAMILY has company

One of my Christmas gifts was a print of our family picture.  Well it wasn't really a gift but it came the day before Christmas so I feel like it was a present from ME.  I ordered our family pic in a humongo size for the dining room wall.  The FAMILY decal has been there with nothing under it for over a year.  One thing we should all do is have prints made when we get our photos taken.  I don't care if you don't like your hair or you weigh an extra 20lbs more than you want to, Maxwell is sleeping, Garrett isn't smiling, or Mallory isn't looking directly at the camera......  All those things are real and our family is real.  This is who we are there is no fluff put into them, no photoshopping to make me look plastic, no swapping heads with one that Garrett was smiling, this is keeping it real, this is us.  Get your family picture printed in a humongo size and hang it up.  I love it and look at it everyday when I walk in the door.  I put it in this old beat up frame for now but I'm not sure it's going to stay in that one or if the frame will stay that color but right now it gets it up on the wall for me to enjoy everyday.

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 Goals

On Christmas when we went through our old photos it was so much fun seeing not only who was the main subject of the photo but also the surroundings.  We laughed so hard at the hairstyles, clothes, and home decor.   And I'm sure you can relate that when you have old photos it's so much fun to find one of yourself.  I know it's painful to see them but it's still fun, so the goal for 2012 is to get myself on the other side of my camera a little more often.  So before we headed out for our New Years Party I had John snap a picture of me.  I'm wearing what was suppose to be Adam's ugly Christmas sweater, after I got home and he refused to wear it I thought it looked like something I might be able to pull off with the right shirt.  I love those outfits that cost under $3.... I'm sure in years when we look back on these I'll cringe and wonder what I was thinking but right now the Argyle sweaters are everywhere. 

Loving my little snuggly Maxwell.  He's getting teeth and his momma was needing a break and it's hard to believe but he was letting her.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Two Thousand Twelve

The new year should be the start of new beginnings, new goals, new resolutions, and just plain enjoying the life that you have been given.  

Our New Years was celebrated on Hwy 29 in a snow storm going 35 mph.  When the clock hit 12:00 John says "Happy New Year" and I say "Happy New Year, I'm not giving you a kiss until we are off these roads"  How romantic huh?  At least we seen midnight, and 1, and 2 since the apron needed shoveling and there were cut-out cookies to eat.

Here is my drink of choice that night since we were so away from home with the possibility of snow.  
Shot of wine with 7-up in a fun glass.